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Full text of "The manufacture and properties of iron and steel"

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FACTORS  IN"  INDUSTRIAL  COMPETITION.                    427
servile lot of men, whose highest thought is expecting the next spoonful of gruel. It is soup-house charity when there is no necessity for philanthropy.
The second method treats men as men. The self-respecting man does not ask charity; he wishes to pay one dollar for one dollar's worth of goods. This self-respecting man should be the one for whom all rules are made. He is a free agent, able to make his own contracts, to work or to leave, and as a rule he generally has a job and is too busy to make speeches on the labor question or kindred topics.
The third system is the labor organization where men bind themselves together and appoint a committee to get all they can for "labor." These unions declare that every man is the equal of every other man—when he is not; that a fast workman shall not be allowed to do any more work than a slow workman—which would seem to be an attempt to upset the decree of Providence; that a good workman shall not receive more than a lazy dummy—which is absurd; that labor-saving devices shall not be introduced unless the money saved is distributed among the workmen; and, worst of all, that dealings with the men shall be done through certain intermediary officers, when it is notorious that in some cases the men chosen to such office have gained power by cajolery, bribery and the lowest methods of ward politicians.                              ,
It must be acknowledged that the same class of men achieve political success under our system of popular sovereignty, and it would certainly be unwise to change our government to prevent the election of demagogues to office; but no demagogue nor Board of Aldermen is given authority over the freedom of the individual nor over great industries. The Czar of Eussia might hesitate to order one hundred thousand men out of employment, and expose to mob rule great establishments and ruin the trade of a million people. Only one power in any civilized land has such authority, and this is a committee chosen by a small fraction of the community and often by a minority of the interested parties. It is of record that the disastrous decisions of such committees have often been condemned by the greater bodies of which they form a part, although such condemnation generally does about as much, good as an apology for hanging the wrong man.
These faults are recognized by the labor unions themselves, and